Happy Waifu Wednesday!
Today's theme is all about our favorite Tsundere characters. Those characters who fight against their own feelings, who present a cold face that belies a warm and loving heart.
I generally don't love Tsundere type characters because I think the trope is a little overplayed in anime overall. Still, there's a couple that I still enjoy despite the stereotypical characterization. My definite favorite, though, has to be Touka Kirishima from Tokyo Ghoul.
Touka first appears in the story as a waitress in Anteiku where Hide and Kaneki are having coffee, talking about Kaneki's impending date with Rize. She seems shy when Hide flirts with her a little, though we come to see that as an act she puts on at work.
When she shows up again, it's when Kaneki is driven mad by hunger and nearly gets killed by Nishiki. She calls him weak and useless, and when he starts at Anteiku she hangs on to these sentiments.
Touka has such a tragic backstory, it makes sense that she has such a cold demeanor. Her reaction to Kaneki as a half-ghoul is one of repulsion and anger, since he fights so hard against the identity and he bemoans his fate. For Touka, whose entire life has been lived on the run, this is not only an infuriating weakness, but also an insult to her own struggles.
Touka acts out on her own against the CCG, putting herself in danger as she fights one versus two against Amon and Mado. Though she was ultimately able to kill Mado with the help of Hinami, it was still a time where she put herself and the rest of the members of Anteiku at risk. For Touka, though, this was a necessary action.
She eventually drops the facade of her emotional aloofness with Kaneki, but it comes too little too late, as the torture inflicted upon Kaneki by Jason has warped his mind and changed him to a point where even Touka cannot recognize any of his former self.
This bridge scene is probably where I knew I loved Touka. She maintained her deference with Kaneki, not letting him in, but still expressed how she hated the way he was going, the person he was becoming. She tried to bring him back from the brink.